Alabama leads nation in annual unemployment drop

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Alabama has had the largest d rop in annual unemployment in the country, according to the latest data available.

"We're seeing a lot of development. We're seeing a lot of hiring. And we're seeing people going back to work," said Tara Hutchison with the Alabama Department of Labor.

Labor statistics back that up. They show the state's annual average unemployment rate fell 1.5 percent from 5.9 percent in 2016 to 4.4 percent in 2017.

Hutchison says even if you have a job, that's still good news. You'll now have more opportunities and maybe even more bargaining power.

"This means employers are having to compete even more for the existing workforce. So if you're in a job that you've been in, you haven't really liked it, you want to move up into something else, now would be a great time to make that move because you're going to have more options," said Hutchison. "There are a lot of companies coming to Alabama. There are a lot of existing companies that are also expanding their work forces."

So, what if you need a job? Who's hiring? What industries are looking to recruit new people?

"Our data consistently shows truck drivers and registered nurses are the two top occupations in Alabama. They consistently have the most advertised open positions," Hutchison continued.

Alabama's free job site can be viewed here.

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